Note to self: Possibly change post title to, “I sometimes fear for my sanity.” Think about it.
So, I decided I wanted to knit a scarf, and I decided I wanted to use some of my handspun. I picked out what was probably the most colourful one, my Grafton singles.
Not the best picture, but it’s a felted single that graduates from blue through a yellowish to red. You can read the details about the yarn here, but I’ll save you the trouble, because really the only pertinent detail is that I said it was 175 yards and about 10 wpi, or worsted weight. That’s also what I filled in on the Ravelry page for the yarn, which is what I use to keep of myself.
Side note: I read somewhere on Ravelry that when you make felted singles, you should carefully rewind the hank after washing and while it’s still barely damp-ish. I read that well after I spun the yarn, so of course I didn’t do it. It took a full two hours just to wind the yarn into a ball because it was stuck to itself. If I ever do it again, I will rewind. I was pleased, though, in that it held together quite nicely all through that process. Yippee for felting!
Back to the scarf: The other thing I noticed while rewinding is that the yarn was, well, kind of, umm, thin. Like, quite thin. As in, really thin. Yes, there were some places where it was likely worsted weight, but for the majority, maybe fingering, possibly lace. Yeah, that thin. See the first line of this post? Yeah.
The thinness made me kind of revise my scarf plans. I didn’t really want a wispy scarflette. I do live in Canada, and we do have winter. I decided to stripe it with another yarn to give the scarf more substance. The Noro Striped scarf would be wonderful, non-concentration knitting, which was just what I needed after my father’s recent death, as my concentration really wasn’t up to much more than that. After a bit of stash diving, I found a skein of Patons Classic Merino in Oatmeal, Perfect! Right?
Maybe not. I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but the Patons skein is just about collapsed, so there’s not much left. The handspun, on the other hand? Tons left. The yellow is just barely starting to peak through, and that would be about one-third of the way through. So the Patons skein of 220 odd yards is just about gone, and the handspun, not even a third. But I had measured 175 yards. Apparently not only did I mis-measure the weight of the yarn, I mis-measured the length of it. See the first line of this post? Yeah.
Another problem is that the difference in the yarn weight was just too much. The handspun stripes of colour were thin and drapey, and the worsted weight oatmeal was kind of puckery and tight. Not the best matching of yarns.
The other problem, that you can’t really tell from the photo, is that the knitting is three feet long. If I carried on, the finished scarf would be about, what, 10 feet long? Who knows? Not me, because at this point I have no idea how much yarn I have.
So what did I do? I ripped out three feet of 1x1 two-colour ribbing, with one yarn being a single. See the first line of this post? Yeah. Not fun.
Time to go stash diving again.
This was given to me by a friend, and it was given to him by his sister. I believe she just stopped knitting for some reason, and he wouldn’t touch anything remotely woolly, so it came to me. The yarn is a DK weight alpaca blend. I know the yarn store it came from, and it’s been out of business for several years. Even in it’s heyday, though, it was kind of known for having, ummm, vintage yarn. I wasn't surprised that Ravelry has never heard of Marika Country.
Starting over, I decided that I would double up the use of the handspun by knitting one stripe with both the alpaca and one with just the handspun. I added about a third more stitches and went down a few needles sizes.
Back to Plan A, with the larger number of stitches and smaller needles. I decided to just knit until the handspun ran out, because that's the kind of mood I was in. Three and a half 115-yard balls of Marika later, it was done.
What did I learn? Well, one, to measure my yarns more carefully Maybe even two or three times. It’s really hard to plan a project when you don’t know what you have. Two, those people who say you don’t need to swatch for a scarf are wrong. It would have helped in the planning process, and I don’t think I would have dug myself in so deep if I knew it was going to end up at eight feet long. I’m short, and if I wear it looped like I would normally, it will hang down to my knees. Folded in half and just draped around my neck, though, it will be fine, but the colour progression isn’t as obvious. Three, my neck is going to be nice and warm this winter. :-)
Ysolda’s long tail tubular cast-on is easy and a Thing of Beauty.
The wheel has also been busy.
This superwash BFL from a CJ Kopec spin-a-long is now …